Angola National Language: A Comprehensive Guide to Portuguese in Angola

Do you know about Angola National Language? When it comes to languages, Angola is a unique country with a diverse mix of indigenous languages and colonial languages, with Portuguese being the most widely spoken. In this article, we will take a closer look at the status of Portuguese as Angola’s national language, its history, its usage, and its significance. This article aims to be a detailed guide for anyone who wants to understand Portuguese in Angola, whether you are a language enthusiast, a traveler, or a businessperson.

History of Portuguese in Angola

Portuguese has been present in Angola since the 15th century when the Portuguese arrived in the region as part of their colonizing mission. Portuguese became the official language of the colony in the 19th century, and since then, it has been the dominant language. Despite the end of colonialism in the 1970s, Portuguese remained as Angola’s national language.

Portuguese as Angola National Language

Angola’s constitution recognizes Portuguese as the official language and the language of instruction in education and administration. The constitution also recognizes other national languages such as Umbundu, Kimbundu, and Kikongo as languages of cultural value.

Significance of Angola National Language

Portuguese is not only the official language of Angola but also the lingua franca that connects different ethnic groups in the country. It is the language of education, business, and administration, and it is essential for upward mobility and social status.

Usage of Portuguese in Angola

Government

Portuguese is the language of government and administration in Angola. It is the language used in parliament, courts, and official documents. All laws, decrees, and regulations are written in Portuguese.

Education

Portuguese is the language of instruction in Angola’s education system. All subjects are taught in Portuguese except for language and culture classes that focus on the country’s indigenous languages. Angola’s universities also use Portuguese as their primary language of instruction.

Media

Portuguese is the language used in Angola’s media, both print and broadcast. All major newspapers, magazines, and TV stations use Portuguese as their primary language.

Business

Portuguese is also the language of business in Angola. Most business transactions are conducted in Portuguese, and proficiency in the language is considered an asset in the job market.

Varieties of Portuguese in Angola

Angola’s Portuguese has evolved over time, influenced by local languages and cultures. The Portuguese spoken in Angola has its own unique accent, pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.

Accent and Pronunciation

Angolan Portuguese has a distinct accent and pronunciation compared to standard European Portuguese. Angolans tend to stress the last syllable of words and have a more nasal intonation.

Vocabulary

Angolan Portuguese has borrowed words from local languages such as Kimbundu and Kikongo. Words like “cafun√©” (a gentle scalp massage) and “mufete” (a traditional Angolan dish) are examples of words that have entered the Angolan Portuguese lexicon.

Grammar

Angolan Portuguese has some grammatical differences from standard European Portuguese, such as the use of “tu” instead of “v among others.

Challenges and Controversies Faced by Angola National Language

The use of Portuguese as Angola’s national language is not without controversy. Here are some of the challenges and criticisms:

Linguistic Diversity

Angola has a rich linguistic diversity with over 40 indigenous languages spoken in the country. The dominance of Portuguese as the official language has led to the neglect of these languages and has contributed to their decline.

Portuguese and Colonialism

The use of Portuguese as the national language is also associated with Angola’s colonial past. Some Angolans view Portuguese as a symbol of oppression and colonialism and advocate for the promotion of indigenous languages.

Conclusion

Portuguese is the national language of Angola and has a significant role in the country’s culture, education, and economy. Despite its significance, the use of Portuguese as the official language has also faced criticisms and challenges, particularly in relation to linguistic diversity and its colonial legacy.

FAQs

  • What is the origin of Portuguese in Angola?

Portuguese was brought to Angola by the Portuguese colonizers in the 15th century.

  • Is Portuguese the only language spoken in Angola?

No, Angola has over 40 indigenous languages, but Portuguese is the official language and the lingua franca.

  • What is the significance of Portuguese in Angola?

Portuguese is the language of education, business, and administration in Angola and is essential for upward mobility and social status.

  • Does Angolan Portuguese have any distinct characteristics?

Yes, Angolan Portuguese has its own unique accent, pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.

  • Are there any controversies surrounding the use of Portuguese in Angola?

Yes, some Angolans view Portuguese as a symbol of oppression and colonialism and advocate for the promotion of indigenous languages.

References

  • “Languages of Angola.” Ethnologue, SIL International, 2021, https://www.ethnologue.com/country/AO/languages.
  • “Angola.” The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 2021, https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/angola/.
  • “Angola.” Britannica, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 2021, https://www.britannica.com/place/Angola.

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